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network 24/02/2015 - 11:00AM


Cinema Politica is very excited to announce that Sunanda Bhat’s beautifully photographed HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARANA? is now available to be screened throughout our network.

Bhat’s high-definition cinematography captures not only the rich light and colors of the Wayanad rainforest in southern India, but also the struggle of traditional and sustainable rural lifestyles against the looming toxicity of modern capitalism. The film follows a spiritual pilgrimage along a path once walked by the area’s mythic founders as a way of presenting Wayanad to the viewers as the locals see it, revealing the farming community’s quiet dignity and their conception of wealth as participation in a beloved tradition rather than as financial success.

This communal understanding of wealth inevitably conflicts with the capitalist pressures that encroach on traditional life. The impacts of destructive chemical pesticides and disrespectful tourism are measured against the lives that they disrupt. These encounters include a traditional healer who struggles to find once-common medicinal plants in the forest, an organic farmer who insists on growing 32 traditional rice varieties instead of the standardized agri-business grains, and a small-scale commercial farmer on the constant verge of bankruptcy.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARANA? offers a fascinating political, spiritual, and economic cross-section of rural Indian life, and will fit well within any Cinema Politica local’s programming season.  Locals interested in hosting a screening about sustainable agriculture, spirituality, environmentalism, alternative medicine, poverty and global capitalism should give this film serious consideration.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE ARANA? is an outstanding choice for any screening series, but with its eloquent combination of spirituality and social justice themes it especially resonates as one of Cinema Politica Divine Interventions documentaries.